Some of the greatest musical acts of the last 50 years can be seen on the Las Vegas Strip. One of those acts is The Righteous Brothers. Known for their hits You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling and Unchained Melody, among others, fans can experience founding member Bill Medley and Bucky Heard, who replaced the late Bobby Hatfield in 2016, singing what are some of the greatest tunes in music history.
In 2003 Bobby Hatfield passed away and until 2016 the Righteous Brothers ceased to exist. However, after much demand, Bill Medley revived the duo, pairing with singer Bucky Heard – who he had known for more than a decade. The pair has a residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and is already booked for 27 weeks in 2019. Both men acknowledge that Bobby Hatfield could never be replaced. However, the public still hungers for the songs of the Righteous Brothers. When we attended their show this past Saturday December 29th, the Harrah’s Showroom where they perform was filled to capacity.
There are poignant moments to be experienced during Bill Medley and Bucky Heard’s performance. A few that stand out include Bill Medley singing Unchained Melody, with a video montage screened above showing him and the late Bobby Hatfield. Bucky Heard sings some verses of a famous Luciano Pavarotti song in Italian. And finally, we are introduced to Bill Medley’s daughter, McKenna Medley, during the show. Bill performs with her as well.
Owing to the musical mastery of Bill Medley and Bucky Heard, the spirit of Bobby Hatfield and the outstanding contributions of the backup singers and the band, you will feel like you experienced something special.
In 2003 before Bobby Hatfield passed away, The Righteous Brothers were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After the evening performance we attended, we had a chance to CYInterview Bill Medley and Bucky Heard in their dressing room backstage, at the Harrah’s Showroom. You can see our photo with them above.
During their CYInterview, we touched on everything from how this Las Vegas show became a reality to what the late Bobby Hatfield might think of The Righteous Brothers being revived to Bill Medley’s thoughts on You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling in the movie Top Gun and Unchained Melody in the film Ghost, among other topics.
You can read the highlights and listen to the entire CYInterview below:
Listen to the entire Bill Medley and Bucky Heard CYInterview:
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Though you might read online that the reason Bucky Heard decided to perform with Bill Medley, and revive The Righteous Brothers, was because he lost a coin toss, Bill Medley tells us that is not true:
“Well, we flipped a coin and he lost and he had to do the job. No. I don’t know where that came from. Maybe Bucky or I were joking, made a joke. But no. We didn’t flip a coin. We’ve been friends for about 14 years. … We sat down at the piano and it worked and I said, ‘You want to be a Righteous Brother?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘It pays 50 bucks.’ He said, ‘I’m in.’”
Bill Medley sings Unchained Melody as a solo performance, in tribute to late Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield. On what Bobby might think of The Righteous Brothers’ revival, Bill Medley says this:
“He would say, ‘Medley, stop it.’ No, I think he would like it. You know, especially showing, you know, the video of us through the years.”
Bucky Heard adds this about Bill’s solo performance of Unchained Melody:
“You know, it’s like he’s still a part of the show, you know, when Bill sings that song and what a beautiful tribute it is. It’s a scary song and I thought coming in I was gonna, Bill’s like, ‘I’m taking that off the plate for you. This is, it’s Bobby’s song and it’s an iconic song and I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on you to do that song.’”
Bill Medley has some interesting stories about the songs You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling being in Top Gun and Unchained Melody being in Ghost. Listen to the entire CYInterview above to hear about all of it. Bill told us how Unchained Melody ended up in the famous scene in the movie Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore:
“I know for Ghost, the producer or director of the movie was driving to the set and he was listening to the radio and Unchained Melody came on the radio and bam, she said, ‘That’s it. That’s the song.’ … And I truly believe that that song helped the movie. I don’t believe Loving Feeling helped Top Gun. It was great in it, but necessary, you know, like help it.”
Bucky Heard admits he is a huge Bobby Hatfield fan. On trying to fill the shoes of the deceased Mr. Hatfield, he knows he can never be replaced:
“I am just stepping in, you know, trying to do my best to keep this music alive. So that’s kind of how I look at it.”
On how much longer Bill Medley plans to perform and keep The Righteous Brothers revival alive:
“I will do it until the wheels come off. I will do it as long as I can do it and as long as the crowd is there, we will do it.”
You can find upcoming dates and purchase tickets for The Righteous Brothers at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino at their official website www.righteousbrothers.com.
You can find The Righteous Brothers on Facebook clicking here.